This Easy Lemon Lentil Soup is hearty and flavorful. With a delicious assortment of ingredients, you’ll love serving this healthy dish during the colder months.

Contemporary recipes and cooking advice
from Contemporary Cookery for Individual Families by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the advent of the printing press in the 16th and 17th centuries, numerous books were prepared on how to handle homes and make food. In Holland and England competition grew involving the respectable families as to who could prepare the most extravagant banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had developed to an art variety and great cooks were in demand. Most of them published their own books explaining their recipes in competition making use of their rivals. Many of these publications have been translated and are available online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability brought about the emergence of cookery writing in its contemporary form. Even though eclipsed in fame and regard by Isabella Beeton, the first contemporary cookery author and compiler of recipes for the house was Eliza Acton. Her pioneering cook book, Modern Cookery for Private Individuals printed in 1845, was directed at the domestic reader rather than the qualified cook or chef. This is immensely influential, establishing the format for contemporary currently talking about cookery. It introduced the now-universal practice of record the ingredients and proposed cooking situations with each recipe. It involved the very first menu for Brussels sprouts. Contemporary cook Delia Jones called Acton “the most effective author of recipes in the British language.” Modern Cookery long lasted Acton, outstanding in publications till 1914 and accessible now in facsimile.

Acton’s work was an important impact on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Guide of House Management in 24 regular parts between 1857 and 1861. This was helpful tips to owning a Victorian household, with advice on style, child care, pet husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, research, faith, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, around 900 included recipes. Most were explained with coloured engravings. It is stated that lots of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier in the day authors such as Acton, however the Beetons never claimed that the book’s contents were original. It was supposed as a dependable manual for the aspirant heart classes.

The American cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) printed in 1896 her popular perform The Boston Preparing College Cookbook which covered some 1,849 recipes.